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Winning Business

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Winning business with Alison Williams McGrath Central Coast

How does Alison win business?

Alison Williams is genuinely interested in helping her clients. She is not at all interested in hype.

Alison says, "I really just talk to the client about why I'm there and ask how I can help them. No matter what they say, I really listen to them, assess what they’re saying, and respond with the best possible honest advice. I don't come in with graphs and the big folders. I'm literally just sitting there looking them in the eye. When you look someone in the eye while they're talking to you, that's when you do your best listening. Listen first and then the answers will come. If you don't have the answers right there and then, that's okay as you can always come back to them. The main thing is that you understand exactly what their needs are so you can address them in the best possible way."

The Listing Appointment

Alison enters every listing appointment well prepared with the answer to every question she may be asked. She always sends her prospective clients an agenda ahead of the appointment to ensure they know what to expect and give them reassurance that every agenda item will be covered in the meeting.

Alison says, “Once I’m there I generally let the conversation evolve and move with it as I feel fit, depending on the owners. Everyone is different. They all have different expectations, needs and wants. As a result, I'm not overly structured. I go with the flow."

Total honesty, even if it means doing herself out of short-term business, is one of Alison’s great strengths. She always looks at the big picture and has even been known to talk owners out of selling if she feels the timing is not right for them. Experience has taught her that people appreciate her honesty so much that they always come back.

Alison recalls, "There was one couple in particular who called me in and I know I could have easily signed them up on the spot. They told me they had been referred to me and wanted me to represent them in the sale of their home. They even suggested I bring the paper work with me so we could get started. But when I discovered they were only selling because the roots of two large trees in the backyard of their neighbour’s property were growing underneath their pool, I said, 'Worst-case scenario, the trees will break the pool. What happens then? You remove the pool, build a deck over it and save a lot of money’. As it turns out, their neighbours sold soon afterwards and the new owners removed the trees.

Now, while I've never done a transaction for those clients (yet), they have referred about 10 people to me."

Visuals and Listing Props

Alison takes the following visuals and props with her to every listing presentation:

  • Real-life scenarios,
  • Examples from the most recent sales in the area,
  • Copies of vendor reports, and
  • Buyer lists.

Alison says, “When I'm sitting in front of an owner, I get a pretty good feeling if they are going to be selling. Once I know they definitely want to sell and the timing is right, my presentation moves into the next phase. I walk them through the buyer lists and explain how I qualify and categorise them. Then I role-play the negotiation process with them. My presentation is very interactive."

The Close

There are two stages (or rounds) to Alison’s closing procedure. Round one involves asking for the business at the end of her presentation. She would generally ask, 'Are you ready to get started?' or simply say, 'Let’s get started'.

Round 2 involves creating some space for a couple to make their decision.

Alison says, “You have to be bold. You have to know how to ask for the business. You have to capitalise on the emotion in the room at the time – the best agents know this. A lot of agents make the mistake of walking away at this crucial stage. If you leave on that night, you're great. On the next day you were good, and if you give it another day, there's someone a lot cheaper than you and by that stage the emotion present in the room would have evaporated. You can’t push through when that happens. It’s all part of the dance – you have to create space to allow the client to make his or her own decision."

If Alison is presenting to a couple, she will generally ask them if they have any questions for her. If they respond that they don’t have any questions but they would just like to think it over, she will suggest that she goes and sits in her car for 15 minutes or so to give them some space to discuss the situation and then if they have any further questions, she can answer those when she comes back inside.

Alison says, "Most agree to this suggestion because some people just don't want to make a decision or have that conversation in front of the agent. They just want the opportunity to say to each other, ‘I like her. She sounds like she knows what she’s talking about’. Then, bang, they decide to go with you. It’s a great technique because it creates space for the client to breathe."

Selling - Squeezing the Premium Price

When it comes to selling, Alison stays involved, making sure both clients and buyers feel the love. But she also ensures no money is left on the table.

Alison says, “While a property may sell itself in a strong market, it won’t sell for the premium price and that’s our job as agent to extract. It’s so important to engage with buyers. Unfortunately buyers are often forgotten, leaving them frustrated. What a lot of agents forget is that our buyers are our spenders. A large part of my listing presentation to prospective vendors revolves around explaining how we are going to nurture their buyers. When I work to the best of my ability, I generally end up with two or three buyers. Then it boils down to how I negotiate with them and make them feel loved throughout that process. Why is that important? Because if they feel the love it gives them the confidence to pay their best price without feeling like they've been stung by an agent. That's the key to managing the negotiation process."

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

Sometimes you can sell a property too fast. You must pay attention to the detail, and let a sale simmer, to ensure you are extracting the absolute best price from the market. Do this and you will be guaranteed future business.

Alison says, "There is nothing more frustrating for me, than hearing a buyer say, ‘We would have paid $25,000 more for that house. But the agent chose not to call us back’."

Give Buyers Some Space Too

It’s not just vendors who appreciate being given some space. Alison says, “When you're taking buyers out, I find that quite often, even if it’s clear that they love the property, they just want to have a few minutes to talk to each other in private to ensure they’re both on the same page before they make their next move."

Making Community Connections

Alison not only loves her job, she also loves the Central Coast and is an active member of the local community. She sponsors one of the key players in the Central Coast Mariners, hosts evenings for her clients, and does a regular local radio spot. The added benefit of Alison’s community involvement is a strong pipeline of potential future vendors.

Alison says, "We love our soccer, we love the Mariners, and we're passionate about our local community, so it’s really a win-win for us. It's actually about giving back to the client. We truly value that relationship and it's really important that they feel we care. And we really do care. We form genuine relationships and bonds with these people. They become our friends so when they understand the compassion that we've got towards everything we do, they are automatically going to refer their friends and family to us. Reputation and integrity are everything in this business."


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Alison Williams